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Shariq Ahmed
Shariq Ahmed

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What’s the Difference Between Code Editors and IDE? Explained with Examples

Technology is filled with jargon. If you are someone like me, then I’m sure there will be days when you’ll be frustrated by all these new but unique terms. But hey, I know that being a technology geek, I should expect this.

And so should you. So, let me ask you two questions. Do you know the difference between code editors and IDE? In fact, do you know about code editors? If you are nodding horizontally, then you should first familiarize yourself with code editors. I have written a detailed article on the best code editors of 2024. Now, let’s discuss the difference between code editors and IDEs.

Code Editors

Imagine you made a mistake in your code. For instance, you added ; instead of : after writing the if-else condition. So, now you want to edit this code.

Any idea how can you correct this mistake? Well, use code editors.

They are basically editors that are used to edit code. You can also consider code editors as part of IDEs. Further, code editors only support specific languages.

Some of the functions of code editors include:

  1. Highlight
  2. Auto-completion of code
  3. Indentation

Sublime Text, Brackets, Vim, Visual Studio Code, and Atom are a few examples of code editors. But what’s the reason behind the code editor’s creation? Well, code editors are made to make the code more readable at a later time. Let’s see IDE now.

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

IDEs are a collection of those tools that help in creating software apps. They also give a centralized interface that’s mostly needed by developers. The best part about using IDE is that you get a lot of tools in just one app. Further, since IDEs give you full control of the database, you can perform a lot of tasks by yourself.

Some of the features of IDE include:

  1. Debugging
  2. Highlighting syntax
  3. Building automation tools
  4. Compiling

Keep in mind that IDEs, contrary to code editors, provide tools for debugging and compiling code. Examples of IDEs include Visual Studio, IntelliJ, Notepad ++, and Vim. IDE also runs code internally. Thanks to its terminal interface. What’s best is that in IDE, you can create plugins. In fact, you can also share plugins with other people as well.

What Should You Use? Code Editors or IDEs?

If you are working in C ++ and Java, then I would say that use IDEs. You will have tools to debug and compile your code. But if you are working in Python or learning front-end development, prefer code editors. They are lightweight software. They also support multiple languages. If you are someone who uses files that have multiple languages all at the same time, then code editors should be your preference. They also don’t take a lot of time to load.

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